Joseph K. Hegedus

Partner

  • location icon Los Angeles, CA
    633 West 5th Street
    Suite 4000
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

Joseph Hegedus is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois and a vice-chair of the Insurance Regulatory & Compliance Practice. He has more than 30 years of experience which includes transactional and corporate work, litigation, and arbitration in commercial, business, financial, and insurance-related matters, and representation of clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts, and administrative agencies. He has expertise in the following areas:

  • Reinsurance
  • Formation, merger, acquisition, and licensing of insurers, brokers, and other entities
  • Policy drafting and analysis, and insurance coverage (including property and casualty, life and health, title, and workers’ compensation), specialized insurance, and automobile and other product warranty programs
  • Insurance regulatory matters
  • Defense of administrative licensing actions against professionals
  • ERISA and health care law (including health care service plan, HMO, PPO, IPA, and IRO)
  • Insurance bad faith
  • Risk retention and risk purchasing groups
  • Insolvency and receivership
  • Internet and electronic commerce
  • Commercial and business disputes
  • Employment law (executive agreements, benefit plans, wrongful termination, and discrimination claims)
  • Constitutional and governmental law
  • Antitrust and unfair business practices
  • Racketeering (“RICO”) law
  • Native American law

Legal Experience

  • Editorial Board, California Insurance Law & Regulatory Reporter
  • General Counsel, Allianz Insurance Company and affiliated insurance, financial, and computer companies, 1980-1986
  • Deputy Attorney General, Major Civil Litigation Division, Pennsylvania Department of Justice, 1978-1980
  • Assistant Attorney General, Pennsylvania Insurance Department, 1976-1978

Significant Cases, Projects & Expert Witness Testimony

  • Investors Equity Life Holding Co. v. Schmidt, 233 Cal.App.4th 1363, 183 Cal.Rptr.3d 219 (2015): Trial court abused its discretion by dismissing case based on doctrine of forum non conveniens, rather than leaving stay of action in effect.
  • Zatikyan v. Jones, No. 34-2011-80000973 (Cal. Sacramento Co. judgment entered Aug. 14, 2014): On petition for writ of administrative mandate (appeal), court reversed Insurance Commissioner’s order permanently revoking client insurance broker’s licenses.
  • Investors Equity Life Holding Co. v. Schmidt, 195 Cal.App.4th 1519, 126 Cal.Rptr.3d 135 (2011): Action by California-resident corporation against Hawai’i defendants was stayed based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens, allowing action to proceed in Hawai’i.
  • United States Life Ins. Co. v. Superior Natl. Ins. Co., 591 F.3d 1167 (9th Cir. 2010), affirming, No. CV 07-00850 (C.D.Cal. June 25, 2007) (unpublished opinion):  District court entered final judgment of $457,814,379 (losses net of premiums) for client against reinsurer, which appealed and bonded appeal for $600,000,000. The Ninth Circuit affirmed. The client is the California Insurance Commissioner as statutory liquidator of five insolvent insurers.
  • Filed applications and supporting documents for formation and licensing of new California insurer, including applications for organizational securities permit and for certificate of authority and transactional documents relating to corporate actions, securities, reinsurance, agent-brokers, claims adjustment, computer software and maintenance, advertising, deposit accounts, asset management, employment, and rates and insurance policy forms.
  • Representation of buyers and sellers of property and casualty insurers, life and health insurers, and insurance agents and brokers.
  • United States Life Ins. Co. v. Superior Natl. Ins. Co., 160 Fed.Appx. 559 (9th Cir. 2005), affirming, No. CV 05-678-GLT (MLGx) (C.D.Cal. March 15, 2005): Federal appeals court affirmed district court’s denial of reinsurer’s petition to vacate arbitrators’ final interim award in favor of the client, which award denied rescission of a quota share reinsurance contract, involving $1 billion in ceded losses.
  • California Comp. Ins. Co. v. Insurance Corp. of Hannover (arbitration filed March 2, 2001): Represented statutory liquidator and estates of three insolvent insurers in pending arbitration seeking recovery of $37,500,000 under loss reserve guaranty reinsurance contract, in which three reinsurers sought rescission of the contract.
  • Mendez Trucking, Inc. v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. (Cal. Los Angeles County 2001): Testified at jury trial as expert witness on behalf of the prevailing plaintiff on issues relating to reinsurance, effect of cut-through endorsement, and insurer insolvency.
  • Pyfrom v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., No. B138386 (Cal.App., Aug. 28, 2001) (unpublished opinion): Plaintiff-attorney has no right to lien on settlement of underlying liability action, and has no right to sue insurer and defense attorneys on such claimed lien.
  • Jackson v. BKM Total Office, LLC, No. G023628 (Cal.App. 2001) (unpublished opinion): Commission agreement and employer’s conduct did not change plaintiff-employee’s at-will employment status.
  • Charles J. Vacanti, M.D., Inc.  v. State Comp. Ins. Fund, 24 Cal.4th 800, 102 Cal.Rptr.2d 562, 14 P.2d 234 (2001): Medical providers have right of action against insurers for alleged antitrust, unfair business practices, racketeering (RICO), and civil rights violations, and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board does not have exclusive jurisdiction over such allegations.
  • Hallwood Realty Partners, L.P. v. Gotham Partners, L.P., 95 F.Supp.2d 169 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) and memorandum opinion:  Plaintiffs pleaded with sufficient specificity their claim that defendants acted in concert to acquire control of plaintiff in violation of section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and rule 13d-1 of the Securities Exchange Commission; and court has personal jurisdiction over California defendant based on nationwide service of process provided by federal securities laws.
  • Manturuk v. Aida Engineering, Ltd., No. CV 98-4829 NM (RZx) (C.D.Cal., June 30, 1999) (unpublished opinion):  Plaintiffs’ complaint was dismissed for failure to establish minimum contacts to satisfy the constitutional requirements of the Due Process Clause for a California court to assert personal jurisdiction over Japanese corporations and Illinois law firm.
  • Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. Seko Investment, Inc., 156 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 526 U.S. 1066, 119 S.Ct. 1458, 143 L.Ed.2d 544 (1999): Insurer’s petition for involuntary bankruptcy against insured-debtor based on assigned promissory notes (and later state-court judgment for fraud for $2.3 million against insured-debtor) was upheld; petition was held not contingent as to liability or the subject of a bona fide dispute, which insured-debtor claimed to exist against insurer for insurance bad faith under owner’s title insurance policies.
  • Bruno Scherrer Corp. v. Superior Natl. Ins. Co., No. G017774 (Cal.App., April 26, 1999) (unpublished opinion):  Insurer is not liable for insurance bad faith or for insured’s attorneys’ fees (but is liable for minor amount of compensatory damages) allegedly arising from insurer’s improper calculation of workers’ compensation dividends.
  • Vaccaro v. Kaiman, 63 Cal.App.4th 761, 73 Cal.Rptr.2d 829 (1998): Dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint and sanctions of $38,237 for attorney’s failure to sign the complaint were reversed for trial court’s abuse of discretion of not relieving the default by accepting a late signature.
  • Gitano Group, Inc. v. Kemper Group, 26 Cal.App.4th 49, 31 Cal.Rptr.2d 271 (1994): Insured is not entitled to defense against claims for patent infringement, which were tendered under the “advertising injury” provisions of the insured’s comprehensive general liability insurance policy.
  • Aetna Cas. & Surety Co. v. Superior Court, 19 Cal.App.4th 320, 23 Cal.Rptr.2d 442 (1993): Insurer has no duty to defend, under the “advertising injury” provisions of a comprehensive general liability insurance policy, an insured who is sued for inducing and contributory patent infringement.
  • Carnow v. Podiatry Ins. Co. of America, No. CV-92-2604-SVW (Ex) (C.D.Cal. 1992) (unpublished opinion):  Federal Liability Risk Retention Act preempts insured’s state-law claims for bad-faith cancellation of a professional liability policy issued by a risk retention group, and the policy issued under surplus lines law is exempt from state-law insurance cancellation statutes.
  • Callahan & Gauntlett v. Industrial Indem. Co., 9 Cal.App.4th 1140, 11 Cal.Rptr.2d 875 (1992) (unpublished):  Insured has no right to compel arbitration of attorneys’ fees under Cal. Civ. Code § 2860 (relating to insured’s right to independent counsel), unless insurer has a duty to defend and an actual conflict of interest exists between insurer and insured on coverage.
  • Wilshire Ins. Co. v. Garamendi, 5 Cal.App.4th 1573, 8 Cal.Rptr.2d 55 (1992): Statutory provision deeming insurance rates approved 60 days after public notice of filing rate application applies to rate increases, but not to rate rollback requirement of Proposition 103, the 1988 voter initiative relating to the setting of insurance rates in most lines of property and casualty insurance.
  • People v. Newman, 233 Cal.App.3d 646, 284 Cal.Rptr. 628 (1991): Testified at jury trial as expert witness for prevailing defendant on issue that pharmacist cannot be prosecuted under criminal statute prohibiting insurance fraud, because organization at issue is a health maintenance organization and not an insurer.
  • CF Truck Load Service, Inc. v. Industrial Indem. Co., No. CV 88-5603 MRP (C.D.Cal., March 22, 1990), aff’d, No. 90-55874 (9th Cir. 1991): On motion for summary judgment, insurer was held not liable for breach of assigned risk trucker’s liability policy nor liable for bad faith, and insured has no standing as a judgment creditor to enforce policy under Cal. Ins. Code § 11580.
  • Allianz Underwriters, Inc. v. Switzerland Gen. Ins. Corp. of N. Y., No. C358294 (Cal. Los Angeles Co., filed April 1981): Action was brought against reinsurers and intermediaries on facultative certificates reinsuring two policies totaling $19.5 million in coverage of $50.0 million Major League Baseball’s strike fund for losses resulting from strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
  • Sheppard v. Old Heritage Mutual Insurance Company, 492 Pa. 581, 425 A.2d 304, 17 A.L.R.4th 1 (1980): Order affirmed authorizing Insurance Commissioner to liquidate insurance company for insolvency, hazardous financial condition, mismanagement, and unfair claims practices; and insurer’s proposed rehabilitation is not in best interests of policyholders, claimants, creditors, and the public.
  • Sheppard v. Old Heritage Mutual Insurance Company, 45 Pa.Cmwlth. 428, 405 A.2d 1325 (1979): Insurance Commissioner may liquidate insurer for insolvency, where admitted assets do not exceed admitted liabilities, and is not required to rehabilitate insurer.
  • Gibraltar Life Insurance Company v. Bartel, 50 Pa.Cmwlth. 456, 413 A.2d 32 (1980): Insurance Commissioner’s decision not to lift suspension of insurer which was controlled by shareholders who failed to rehabilitate another insolvent insurer is res judicata.
  • Malmed v. Thornburgh, 621 F.2d 565 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 955, 101 S.Ct. 361, 66 L.Ed.2d 219 (1980): Pennsylvania Constitution requiring retirement of state court judges at certain age did not violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution.
  • Pennsylvania Association of State Mental Hospital Physicians, Inc. v. State Employees’ Retirement Board, 484 Pa. 313, 399 A.2d 93 (1979): In class action on behalf of certain part-time employees, the state was compelled to compute credit for retirement purposes based on number of years worked by each such part-time employee.
  • Pye v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 29 Pa.Cmwlth. 545, 372 A.2d 33 (1977), aff’d per curiam, 479 Pa. 146, 387 A.2d 877 (1978): Insurance agent cannot enjoin state from conducting a hearing on revocation of his license for conspiring to bribe state officials in the placement of insurance policies.
  • Neff v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 42 Pa.Cmwlth. 333, 400 A.2d 920 (1979): Insurance Commissioner is not required to issue license or permit transaction of securities to shareholders who failed to rehabilitate separate insolvent insurer which shareholders controlled.
  • Zinman v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 42 Pa.Cmwlth. 270, 400 A.2d 689 (1979): Conversion of mutual insurance company into a stock insurance company may be conditioned on prior actions of officers or directors.
  • J. C. Penney Casualty Insurance Company v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 43 Pa.Cmwlth. 360, 402 A.2d 558 (1979): Assisted with case upholding constitutionality of the Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices Act, a statute regulating insurance licensees’ claims, advertising, and business practices.
  • Safeguard Mutual Insurance Company v. Miller, 456 F.Supp. 682 (E.D.Pa. 1978) and 477 F.Supp. 299 (E.D.Pa. 1979): Assisted in defense of federal civil rights action against officials of Pennsylvania Insurance Department based upon their earlier actions seeking liquidation of insurer.
  • Roberts v. Wade, 39 Pa.Cmwlth. 379, 395 A.2d 661 (1978): Promotion of state police as public employees based on assignment of special rank outside of normal promotion track did not violate federal consent decree mandating affirmative action hiring to remedy past racial discrimination.
  • Stuebig v. Hammel, 446 F.Supp. 31 (E.D.Pa. 1977), aff’d, 714 F.2d 292 (3d Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1023, 104 S.Ct. 1276, 79 L.Ed.2d 681 (1984): Defended in trial court civil rights action by plaintiff, who had been interned at Farview State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for about 34 years, against doctors and hospital administrators employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania Automobile Dealers Association v. Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection: Pennsylvania’s regulations on advertising and sales of automobiles (“lemon laws”) were successfully defended against constitutional attack at injunction proceeding.  (Reported in The Harrisburg Patriot, “Car Dealers Battle New Consumer Regulations,” p. 1 (Nov. 21, 1978); The Philadelphia Inquirer, § B, p. 1 (Nov. 22, 1979).
  • Pennsylvania’s model insurer insolvency law, governing liquidation and dissolution of insurance companies, was edited and reviewed. (Article V of The Insurance Department Act of 1921, Act of May 17, 1921, P.L. 789, as amended, 40 P.S. §§ 221.1-221.63.)

Professional Presentations

  • Webinar Presentation: “Security Interests in Uncommon Collateral:  IP, Insurance Issues, Partnership Interests and More,” Strafford Webinars & Teleconferences, Los Angeles, California, and New York, New York (February 14, 2013, and December 5, 2013).
  • Seminar Presentation: “Insurance Contract and Coverage Aspects of Secured Transactions,” American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Uniform Commercial Code Committee, Secured Transactions Subcommittee; San Francisco, California (August 8, 2010).
  • Seminar Presentation: “The Benefits of Insurance Regulation and Why It’s So Important in Today’s Economy,” Brokers’ Leaders’ Group, Los Angeles, California (April 2, 2009).
  • Article and Presentation: “Reinsurance:  A Basic Primer for the General Practitioner,” Continuing Legal Education, Los Angeles, California (March 26, 2009)
  • Article and Presentation: “Federal Regulation of Insurance:  An Historical Perspective and Summaries of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act,” Business Law Section, New York State Bar Association, at Nassau, The Bahamas (October 9, 2004).
  • Seminar Panel: “First-Party Insurance Coverage for Biological Airborne Contamination of Structures,” Los Angeles, California (CLE, January 30, 2001).
  • Seminar Panel: “Cyber-Torts:  New and Changing Torts on Internet and in Information Technology,” Los Angeles, California (CLE, October 4, 2000).
  • Seminar Lecture: “Claims Litigation Management Strategies for Property and Casualty Insurance Companies,” Global Business Research Ltd., San Diego, California (November 1-2, 1995).
  • Seminar Lectures: “Intellectual Property and Insurance Coverage,” Los Angeles, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (February and April 1995).
  • “Insured’s Right to Independent Attorney Paid by Insurer: Cumis Counsel, Conflicts, Common Law and Code,” Recent Developments in Insurance Law (Lorman, January 1993).
  • “Nonadmitted Insurers: Surplus Line Insurance and Caveat Emptor,” Recent Developments in Insurance Law (Lorman, January 1993).
  • “Insurer Insolvency, Reinsurance, Advertising Injury and Risk Retention and Purchasing Groups,” Recent Developments in Insurance Law (Lorman, January 1993).
  • “Paying for Proposition 103: Constitutional and Other Legal Infirmities in the Insurance Commissioner’s and the State Board of Equalization’s Billing Insurers,” California Insurance Law & Regulatory Reporter (Vol. 2, No. 4, April 1990).
  • “Fair Dealing: Appeals Court Overturns Bad-Faith Award Against Reinsurer,” Business Insurance (May 23, 1988).
  • Case Note: “Antitrust Lawsuit by States Against Insurers and Reinsurers Dismissed,” (March 1990).
  • Case Note: “California Supreme Court Upholds ‘Fair Rate of Return’ as a Constitutional Standard for Analyzing the Impact of Statutes and Regulations on the Insurance Industry,” (June 1989).
  • Case Note: “Right of Insurance Company to Withdraw from State Upheld Notwithstanding Proposition 103” (March 1990).
  • Case Note: “California Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Proposition 103,” (May 1989).
  • Note: “Legal Ramifications of Proposition 103,” Proposition 103 Alert (May 1989).

Admissions

Supreme Court of California (1980)

New York State Court of Appeals (1981)

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (1975) (inactive)

Supreme Court of the United States (1979)

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1980)

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1980)

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1982)

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2015)

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1976)

United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (1979)

United States District Court for the Central District of California (1982)

United States District Court for the Northern District of California (1982)

United States District Court for the Eastern District of California (2012)

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1983)

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (1983)

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (2015)

United States Tax Court (1983)

Education

Temple University School of Law

Juris Doctor, 1975

Cornell University

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, 1972

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